PSH: I’m here today at the rhinoplasty conference in Melbourne. I’m here with Dr. Allan Kalus, who’s from Avenue Plastic Surgery in Windsor, in Melbourne. I’m just going to have a chat about rhinoplasty and any new, interesting things that have been discovered and talked about during the conference. Thank you for taking the time today.
Dr Kalus: Thanks, Trish. It’s a real pleasure to speak with you.
PSH: Lovely. Tell us all about it. It’s been so exciting.
Dr Kalus: Trish, as you know, rhinoplasty is one of the commonest operations that a plastic surgeon would do. Of course, it’s not surprising, because the nose is situated right in the middle of the face, so if someone’s nose is large or bent; it’s very easy to understand how a person can become self conscious about their nose. Indeed, when we do rhinoplasty operation, what we try to do is to make the nose blend into the face, to make it look natural so that the other facial features, the main features of the face, such as the eyes and the lips, really can stand out.
What has been discussed at the conference today is the increased use amongst young people of selfies. With the iPhone and other smart phones available, young people these days are constantly taking selfies and it’s something which we never used to do in our youth. In fact, it was very rare for a person with a camera to take a photograph of themselves, but now, everyone’s taking selfies and putting them on Instagram and asking people to evaluate how they look. One of the problems with a selfie is that the lens in the camera phone distorts the facial features slightly. There are all sorts of light effects, which cause shadowing of the nose and can make the nose look a little distorted.
What we’ve noticed now is many young people are becoming self conscious about their nose because of how they look in selfies, so I’m not sure that this is particularly a healthy phenomenon that we have or not. I think people should know that we live in a very multicultural society, that noses are all very different and we can celebrate the differences and there’s no real reason to worry about your nose, just because it isn’t perfect. Really, a rhinoplasty surgery is serious surgery and it really should be done only for someone who becomes very self conscious about their nose, where the self consciousness is quite debilitating. If they’re worrying about their nose every day, in these situations, I think a rhinoplasty is a very reasonable thing to do.
It’s no doubt that rhinoplasty can change a person’s life. Often, we find patients have been worrying about their nose often since school days, since they were teased about their nose in school. The way I like to do rhinoplasty, we specialize in a closed technique of rhinoplasty, where we don’t make any incisions on the outside of the nose. It’s all done internally, so it’s really a magical operation in that we can change the tip of the nose, we can remove a hump, we can straighten a nose, all without any external scars. This is a technique that we specialize in. It’s such a privilege to be able to help so many people to overcome their self consciousness and, in many ways, to realize their dreams, by making their nose just blend into their face and look normal again.
PSH: I actually had a rhinoplasty about 20 years ago and when I went to see the surgeon, I said to him, “This is what I want. I want a little nose. I want it upturned.” He said, “I’m not going to do that for you, because you’re Italian. I want to keep that Roman look about your nose.” I was really upset with him at the time, but I knew he was good. Years down the track, I actually realized that he did the right thing for me. What would you say to someone when they’re looking for a surgeon and you say what you want and they say, “Look, I can’t do it?” You really need to listen to your surgeon, don’t you?
Dr Kalus: I think you do. I think the consultation is very, very important. To describe how your nose has affected your life and how you feel about it. What we do is we take photos of the nose, we put them on computer. We can do imaging. We can show how we can change the nose to better suit the face. Of course, especially for young people, especially for teenagers, it’s always very nice to have their parents come along at the consultation and just to make sure that what they’re doing is really sensible. Because, after all the changes that we make are going to last a lifetime and it’s very important that you get it right the first time.
PSH: I have heard that your nose doesn’t stop growing for the rest of your life. Is that true or is that a myth?
Dr Kalus: I think it’s a myth. The nose doesn’t grow, but what does happen as you get older, the skin stretches a bit, so noses can lengthen a little with age. Again, sometimes when we’re doing a face lift for a person, when we image the face, we see the nose is actually quite long, so part of the operation may be to make the nose a little shorter or a little bit less bulbous in the tip. It’s interesting, as a person ages, the skin tends to lengthen and also thins a little bit, so any irregularities become a little bit more prominent as we age.
PSH: Sure. Okay. Lovely. Thank you so much for that. That’s a real, real insight. If you’re interested in having a rhinoplasty and you’d like to see Dr. Kalus, you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’s in Avenue Plastic Surgery in Windsor, in Victoria. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Dr Kalus: Thanks, Trish.